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Michael Bialas
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After spending more than 25 years in the newspaper business (most recently at the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News in Denver), Michael Bialas is currently taking an online approach to his work. A writer, editor, amateur photographer and former college football player, he primarily has covered sports throughout his career. Among the games he enjoys playing now, though, are reviewing and writing about music, movies, TV and other activities that sometimes don't require a ball.

Entries by Michael Bialas

Paradise Found: 5 All-Americana Dream Team Players Reach for the Sky as Willie Sugarcapps

(2) Comments | Posted April 14, 2016 | 1:56 AM

In Field of Dreams, the best movie ever to connect baseball with the hereafter, Shoeless Joe Jackson asks Ray Kinsella the immortal question:

"Is this heaven?"

Kinsella's most memorable reply: "No. It's Iowa."

Willie Sugarcapps drumIt might seem impossible to mistake one for the...

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Do You Want Somebody to Love? Meet the Saint Johns

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2016 | 2:27 AM

Louis Johnson and Jordan Meredith were never destined to be together, at least in the fall-in-love-at the-top-of-the-Empire State Building sense.

When they coexist as a duo called the Saint Johns, though, their voices intermingle with such passion and fury, it's hard to imagine these Nashville newbies singing with...

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Larkin Poetic: Megan and Rebecca Lovell Get to the Heart of Elvis Costello

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2016 | 10:33 PM

The possibilities are endless for musicians who refuse to play by the rules. If a London lad born as Declan Patrick MacManus wants to become Elvis Costello and morph from a snotty, defiant New Wave hell-raiser into a distinguished gentleman worthy of a King of America coronation, it's...

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Canada's Whitney Rose Blooms While Living the American Dream

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2016 | 11:59 PM

She still looks young enough to get carded, but there's a reason crooning Canadian cowgirl Whitney Rose feels pretty comfortable in a bar. She grew up in one.

Yet trying to break big in America can potentially make the coolest cookie crumble -- especially when the crowd isn't...

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Video Premiere: Natalie Lurie Enjoys a String Fling With Nashville

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2016 | 5:24 PM

Finding a classical harp in a Nashville honky tonk is about as likely as hearing Arthur Marx speak in a movie. But while the slapstick mime known as Harpo successfully brought the instrument some well-deserved respect and a touch of class to classic comedy as one of the fab four...

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Swing Shifting to Jazz, Heather Masse has a Wailin' Good Time With Roswell Rudd

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2016 | 7:26 PM

As one-third of the Wailin' Jennys, the most heavenly trio in folk music today, Heather Masse would be the first to admit that jumping into the jazz scene with a trombone legend is a bit like a successful comedian sharing the screen with a dramatic acting heavyweight.

...
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Still Kicking Aspen, Grace Potter Is on a Roll as Rock's Midnight Gambler

(3) Comments | Posted February 15, 2016 | 8:40 PM

Grace Potter's love affair with Colorado officially began on Feb. 11, 2011, when she sipped champagne to celebrate her band's first sold-out show headlining the Ogden Theatre in Denver.

It was only a few months later that the stunning singer-songwriter possessing a booming born-to-rock voice returned to...

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Deep Thoughts From the Sea the Sea: Sing Along to 'in the Altogether'

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2016 | 11:46 AM

Even if you don't know Chuck E. Costa and Mira Stanley, their music is easy to love. The stunning melodies wrapped around enchanting lyrics are the sonic equivalent of a plush stuffed animal just waiting for a hug.

The indie-alt folk-pop duo that writes, records, sings and performs...

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Worth the Weighted Mind: Sierra Hull Graduates From an Old School of Thought

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2016 | 3:02 PM

It wasn't that long ago that Sierra Hull was the trainee, not the trainer.

Hull, a gifted mandolinist and promising singer-songwriter from Tennessee, had just wrapped up five days as a guest instructor at RockyGrass Academy in Lyons, Colorado, her first time there as a music professor...

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Tag-Teamed By Total Divas: Brie and Nikki Bella Are a Twinning Combination

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2016 | 11:46 AM

In an era of ass-kicking women on TV (Supergirl, Blindspot's Jane Doe, Legends of Tomorrow's White Canary, Netflix's Jessica Jones), the Bella Twins are the real thing. Well, as real as anything gets on reality TV, anyway.

"It's definitely 100 percent real," Nikki Bella, one-half of the WWE...

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When Two Become Three: A Guided Tour Through David Wax Museum

(3) Comments | Posted January 15, 2016 | 12:37 AM

Two songs from one album can't necessarily capture a band's zeitgeist, but for David Wax and Suz Slezak, these true stories hit remarkably close to home.

"Guesthouse" and "Everything Changes," the third and 10th tracks off 2015's Guesthouse that essentially frame David Wax Museum's spicy mix of merry...

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Holiday Dream: Dawn Landes Paints a Pretty Picture Using Her Voice, Music

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2015 | 11:48 AM

Creating lyrics with a poetic touch while blending lovely sounds with angelic harmonies, Brooklyn, New York-based singer-songwriter Dawn Landes naturally thinks like a true artist.

Her musical landscape is a thing of beauty, and she controls the palette and paintbrush.

"I think that it's really satisfying for...

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Music's Fantastic 15 of 2015: Here's Wishing These Top Performers a Very Best Fest

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2015 | 12:52 PM

Put yourself inside the mind of a music festival organizer. It might get somewhat cozy in there, considering how much wheeling and dealing goes on in that noggin year-round.

Planning for the next year's event must begin as soon as this year's ends. Admittedly, I don't have the qualifications...

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Actor John Turturro Plans to Resurrect Jesus (Quintana, That Is)

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2015 | 1:17 PM

Consummate character actor John Turturro has pumped life into so many memorable roles that it's difficult to pick a favorite.

Yet if the veteran performer, who has appeared in more than 60 films, has his way, there will be one he finally deems worthy of resurrection -- his...

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Video Premiere: Lindi Ortega Feels the Burn in 'Ashes'

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2015 | 10:26 AM

Lindi Ortega is a Northern girl with Southern charms, a cowpunk who writes songs that make grown men weep, a tattooed lady who's comfortable wearing ruby-red lipstick and cowboy boots, a modern-day Patsy Cline who sings with genuine feeling while channeling Johnny Cash.

Born and raised in Toronto,...

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Denver Film Festival's Wonder Women: Cast Your Vote for This Cast of Characters

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2015 | 1:47 AM

The career arcs of Meryl Streep and Mary Louise Wilson have taken decidedly different trajectories. But their paths as actors intersect this week at the 38th Denver Film Festival, which opens Wednesday (Nov. 4) and continues through Nov. 15.

DFF logo copyWhile the...

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Blitzen Trapper Take Their Magical History Tour All Across This Land

(1) Comments | Posted October 30, 2015 | 1:23 PM

For a guy not overly concerned with selling records, Eric Earley sure does make a lot of them.

The prolific wordsmith and enigmatic music man fronting Portland, Oregon-based Blitzen Trapper also lets his songs do much of the talking, at least judging by this interview while he was...

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Light a Match to See (and Hear) the Striking Evolution of Chic Gamine

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2015 | 12:55 PM

"It all kind of just came together very quickly, which I barely remember now. It feels like a dream."

Alexa Dirks, one of the bright, bubbly singer-songwriters of Chic Gamine, sounded wide awake, waxing enthusiastic over the phone last week from Montreal about the birth of the French-Canadian band...

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The Wet Darlings Set to Celebrate Columbus Daze With the Rest of America

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2015 | 9:26 PM

What happens when a band emerges as a hometown favorite smack dab in the middle of Ohio before finding mainstream success? If you're Columbus and they're the Wet Darlings, you might try to keep it to yourself. 

In the city named for that Italian explorer who let the word out...

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Taking the High Road, Heather Maloney Keeps Making All the Right Turns

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2015 | 12:41 PM

The name of Heather Maloney's alluring 2015 album is Making Me Break, but it just as easily could have been titled Making Me Breakthrough.

Comfortably enjoying the ride while staying in cruise control, the contemplative singer-songwriter based in Northampton, Mass., got a career jump-start in 2012 when she...

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